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Cranes face Zimbabwe with an eye on AFCON quarterfinals

By Laurian Lubulwa

Added 26th June 2019 01:26 PM

If they manage a win today, it will be the first time in history for Uganda to win the first two games in the group stages at AFCON

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Uganda Cranes coach Sebastien Desabre says the players are focused ahead of Wednesday's match. AFP Photo

If they manage a win today, it will be the first time in history for Uganda to win the first two games in the group stages at AFCON

After making the best possible start to their campaign with an impressive 2-0 win over fancied DR Congo last Saturday, Uganda Cranes are back in action tonight.

They will be looking to maintain a perfect start not forgetting that a win today will automatically send them into the round of 16 with a game to play.

The win against DR Congo was the first for the Cranes in 41 years since their last win against Nigeria on March 14, 1978.

If they manage a win today, it will be the first time in history for Uganda to win the first two games in the group stages at the Africa Cup of Nations finals. But even a draw can secure a place in the knock-out stage.

Yesterday, in the pre-match press conference at Cairo International Stadium, Uganda coach, Sebastien Desabre stressed the importance of the game against Zimbabwe, “We are focused to do a good job. We are forgetting the first game. Zimbabwe is a good team with good individuals. We are ready to do the maximum,” he said.

About defender Murushid Juuko who got a yellow card in the game against DR Congo, Desabre said, “He took a yellow card in the first game. We have many players on the team. We need to manage to the team. I will take a decision before the game against Zimbabwe.”

Uganda captain Dennis Onyango who plays for Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa, has had a chance to either play alongside or against most of the Zimbabweans.

“We are playing a very good team. Personally, I know 90 percent of the players. They are very good players. The target is to get out of the group. We need to stay focused. We need to plan ahead of course. But, first, we need to look at the Zimbabwe game first.

“We have looked at their video clips. Most of the players play in the PSL and I have played with some of them in the same team. Every team has its own weaknesses. I tell my teammates about their weaknesses,” said Onyango in yesterday’s press conference.

Zimbabwe coach, Sunday Marimo Chidzambwa and vice-captain, Ovidy Karuru, both sounded confident ahead of today’s game as they look forward to pick up their first win.

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